Travels with a Writing Brush: Classical Japanese Travel Writing from the Manyoshu to Basho (Paperback)
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A rich and exquisite anthology that illuminates Japanese travel over a thousand years
A Penguin Classic
Discover a realm of travel writing undreamed of in the West--a richly literary tradition extending through a thousand years and more, whose individual works together weave a dense and beautiful brocade of repeated patterns and motifs, tones, and textures. Here are asobi, the wandering performers who prefigured geisha; traveling monks who sleep on pillows of grass and listen to the autumnal insects; and a young girl who passionately longs to travel to the capital and read more stories. Taking in songs, dramas, tales, diaries and above all, poetry, this wonderful anthology roams over mountains and along perilous shores to show how profoundly travel inspired the Japanese imagination.
About the Author
Meredith McKinney is a translator of Japanese literature, both contemporary and classical. She lived in Japan for twenty years and is currently Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University in Canberra. Her translations for Penguin Classics include The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Essays in Idleness and Hojoki by Kenko and Chomei, and two novels by Natsume Soseki.
“Delightful . . . Filled with wonderful vignettes of Japanese life and sensibility . . . Remarkable.” —P. D. James, The Guardian
“A fascinating adventure . . . Resonates as much with today as with yesteryear, and even for readers unfamiliar with Japan . . . A beautiful work.” —Japan Times
“A marvel of absorbing, elegant scholarship . . . A beehive of a book, buzzing with superb commentary and annotations, and bound to last generations.” —Australian Book Review
“A fascinating compendium.” —RTE